I get so many questions around the topic of macros – what should they be, when should I adjust, should I carb cycle, is there a specific percentage to use, how do you know if they’re working, etc. I think one of the most common questions though is in regards to when you should CHANGE your macros, or adjust them.
Lets say you’ve decided to figure out your macros on your own and do this without a coach. Great! It can certainly be done, you just have to be patient and know when to make changes and pay attention to your body. Okay, so you have your macros. You’ve started at this certain caloric range, a specific number of carbs, proteins, and fats, and you have started weighing your food and tracking these targeted macros. But then you start wondering – when do I change? In a week? In two weeks?
The answer, as always, is it depends. One thing I can say for certain, is that if you are making progress, YOU DO NOT NEED TO MAKE ANY CHANGES.
You know the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? This is the perfect quote for your macronutrients. Here are a couple of things to look for for NOT making any adjustments to your current macros (for fat loss):
- Your clothes are fitting looser
- Your weight has gone down (even if it is as small as .5-1lb)
- Your measurements have gone down
- You look leaner in your progress pictures from the last check in
- You did not hit your macros spot on the week before (this is SO important, because if you haven’t accurately hit your macros, you really aren’t sure if those specific macros even work for your body).
- You got your period (for ladies, obviously) – hormones can affect your weight, so sometimes it’s best to let your body adjust before making changes
- You didn’t sleep well
All of these things are either signs that your body is going in the right direction towards your goal of fat loss. You should not make any changes to your macros OR your activity level.
Now, when should you make changes?
Lets say you hit your macros 100% spot on the week before, you got in all of your cardio and exercise that you have programmed for you, you haven’t gotten your period, you have been sleeping wonderfully, and yet the scale hasn’t moved, your measurements haven’t moved, you don’t look or feel leaner, and nothing is changing.
If the scenario above occurs, you can either give it another week or two to see if your body needs to adjust, or you can make very small and minor changes. You can either increase cardio by as little as 5 minutes per session, OR you can drop your carbs by 10-15g, or even your fats by about 5 grams. Do one or the other! Very small changes can certainly make the fat loss process get going. Don’t try to change everything at once, or try to change things drastically. The fat loss process requires a lot of time, patience, and consistency. Keep going, and don’t give up!